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This is such a bizarre story. Tara Westover, who is just 31 years old, was born and raised in rural Idaho. She is the youngest of seven kids whose parents’ belief in an odd, twisted form of Mormonism, dictated every aspect of life. Tara had no birth certificate, never went to school and had no contact with the health system. Her father, convinced the ‘feds’ were out to get them, insisted on a survivalist mentality and the family spent a great deal of time preparing for the End of Days. Tara’s journey out of this environment, into the world of college in Utah, Cambridge and Harvard is remarkable. The practical obstacles on their own seem insurmountable, let alone the emotional and psychological ones.
This new Australian book demystifies the world of mental health. It gives you an overview of everything from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia, personality disorders and substance abuse. You’ll learn about how conditions are diagnosed, how to get help, medication and it’s alternatives, about what treatments work best. Whether you have a mental illness, or you support someone who does, this book provides practical help.
John Lanier is one of the pioneers of digital innovation in the world – so when he warns us about an aspect of it, we should sit up and listen. He draws on his insider experience to explain how social media works – by deploying constant surveillance and subconscious manipulation of its users. The evidence suggests that social media makes us sadder, angrier, less empathetic, more fearful, more isolated and more tribal. He offers ten simple arguments for liberating yourself from its addictive hold and provides a vision for an alternative that provides all the benefits of social media without the harm.
In 1930s and 1940s Vienna, child psychiatrist Hans Asperger sought to define autism as a diagnostic category, treating those children he deemed capable of participating fully in society. He was depicted as compassionate and devoted. However, he was in fact deeply influenced by Nazi ideology, and for children with greater disabilities he prescribed harsh institutionalisation, and in some cases transfer to the Reich’s killing centres. Edith Sheffer, in this book, recounts the heartbreaking experiences of these children, and illuminates the Nazi regime’s obsession with cataloguing people by race, politics, religion, sexuality, criminality and biological defects – all labels that became the basis of either rehabilitation or persecution or extermination. It’s meticulously documented, and absolutely chilling in its detail. It reveals the consequences of the most extreme abuses of clinical power and authority. It will move you to rethink how societies assess, label, and treat those with disabilities.
This book was fascinating, touching, and informative – and the writing made it really easy and pleasurable to read! Despite the ease of the read it did give me a lot to ponder about what it means to be a human animal and the way that we interact with other beings. I loved that Helen really made her colony central to the book – all the ‘real-life’ distractions were kept to a minimum and I could almost imagine I was sitting out alongside her at the hive. I’m not extremely tempted to organise my own hive but the neighbours may not be as appreciative…
This is an extremely clever book that explores the events of A New Hope through the eyes of the characters who didn’t get to tell their stories in the films. Not just the Stormtroopers, Rebels, and the cantina band, but also the trash compactor’s inhabitant are hard, and the book also expands a little on the results of the Death Star’s firing. 40 authors have contributed to this book which means there’s something for every Star Wars fan – humorous, thoughtful, grim and inspiring.
Boffins Books are delighted to welcome Richard Offen for the launch of his new book Lost Perth. Rediscover a wide range of Perth's cherished buildings and institutions, from the trams on city streets to cavernous 1930s cinemas and department stores that no longer find customers.
A Norwegian cop travels to upstate New York in search of her missing brother, who turns out to be under suspicion for the murder of his girlfriend. Sigrid’s previously held belief that America is a totally ‘weird’ place is confirmed at every turn. She just doesn’t understand the locals, particularly the sheriff, Irving Wylie. Like Norwegian by Night, Derek Miller’s first novel, American by Day is a mix of light and dark. The background, a town and country full of racial tension after a police shooting of an African American child and the subsequent death of his aunt, is tragic. The characters however, and the style of writing, are frequently hilarious, in a deadpan, Cohen brothers, kind of way. American beliefs, sensibilities and culture are put under the microscope and compared to the European way of doing things as the two police officers bicker their way through the search for Sigrid’s brother.
This is a spectacularly funny feast of all things Walliams for super-fans, new fans and anyone who likes laughing out loud a lot. There are brilliant character quizzes, fabulous fun facts, a design your own Walliams book cover and you’ll even meet Raj in a brand new comic book adventure never seen before. It’s full of hours of entertainment for all the family and the perfect companion to David's novels.
In this thrilling fantasy, young Ottilie Colter must pretend to be a boy to rescue her brother Gully from a secret order of monster hunters. Gully goes missing one night, and Ottilie sets out to find him – and soon makes a horrible discovery. Gully has been forcibly recruited by the Narroway Hunt, a secretive male-only organisation that hunts savage, blight-spreading monsters called ‘dredretches’. Disguising herself as a boy, Ottilie infiltrates the Hunt – but quickly realises that taking her brother home won't be easy. Trapped in the heart of the dredretch-infested Narroway, it's impossibly dangerous for them to leave. But as she trains to become a Huntsman alongside her brother, hoping for a chance to escape, how long can she keep her true identity a secret?
Diane Wolfers is also a local, and customers may be familiar with her picture books Lighthouse Boy and Lighthouse Girl (which was the inspiration for the performance of The Giants at the Perth Festival in 2015). Diane’s new book is children’s novel, for 9-12 year olds. A tiny dog, the runt of the litter, is born on a remote cattle station. She shouldn't have survived, but when Elsie finds, names and loves her, the pup becomes a cherished companion. Life is perfect a until War arrives. With Japanese air raids moving closer, Elsie's family leaves the Pilbara for the south and safety. But the small dog has to stay behind. After travelling far from home with drovers and a flying doctor, she becomes a hospital dog and experiences the impact of war on north-western Australia. She witnesses wonderful and terrible things and gives courage to many different humans. But through all her adventures and many names, the little dog remembers Elsie, who girl who loved her best of all. Will she ever find her again? It’s a delightful story, beautifully told, set in our state and with an interesting historical background.
Shaun Tan is originally from Perth, and is one of our most-loved exports. His graphic novels/picture books are adored by millions – both children and adults. Shaun’s new book is about a Cicada who works in an office, dutifully toiling day after day for unappreciative bosses and being bullied by his co-workers. But one day, Cicada goes to the roof of the building, and something extraordinary happens – you’ll have to get the book to find out. With beautiful minimalist illustrations, and a story told in Cicada’s broken English, this book will appeal to anyone who has ever felt unappreciated, overlooked, or overworked.
There was a lot of pre-publication hype for this book, which always makes me a bit nervous. You never know if there is actually going to be any substance under all the froth, but luckily in this instance the reality lives up to the promise. Though a novel, the story has its basis in Dalton’s own 1980s Brisbane childhood, when for a short period he was babysat by a notorious convicted criminal. Now an award-winning journalist, he has taken his somewhat chaotic childhood and turned it into a hilarious and poignant novel. Full to the brim with larger than life characters, some good, some bad, most a mix of both, Boy Swallows Universe is a coming of age story to be relished.
Boffins Books are delighted to be the official bookseller at the launch of a new event series "The Founder Talks", from Business Chicks. To celebrate this new series, we're kicking off with Business Chicks' very own founder and global CEO Emma Isaacs, and her new book Winging It.
I’m always amazed at how many enquiries we receive about Bruce Lee. From both martial arts and film enthusiasts. He really was a bridge between eastern and western cultures. It’s nearly 50 years since his death, and there’s never been a really good biography. After years of research, Matthew Polly has come to the rescue with this 640 page portrait of the iconic Lee. It’s an honest and revealing look at Lee, whose personal story is even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played on-screen.
If you read David Whish-Wilson’s trilogy starting with Line of Sight – loosely based on the Shirley Finn murder - and featuring Frank Swann, you’re probably as addicted to his writing as I am. Did you know that in 1852 it was estimated that a quarter of San Francisco’s population was Australian? Things were tough in Australian in the 1840’s, and big numbers of people left to join the 1849 Californian gold rush. Some of these Australians were pretty nasty types – even credited with burning down San Francisco 5 times between 1849 and 1855. No wonder many were lynched, exiled, or just fled by themselves back to our own mid 1850’s gold rush. This is the background for David’s new novel, which has just hit the shelves. It’s hero is Samuel Bellamy, and he’s a twelve year old boy searching for his mother. He has to fit in to the community of desperadoes and criminals to survive. This is a great tale, with a fabulous setting, and I think the take of one reviewer, Paul Daley, sums it up perfectly: “The Coves is what happens when Australian criminals take over Deadwood".
It’s estimated that Australians own an estimated 4.8 million dogs, about 1 for every 5 people – one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world. Guy Hull shows how the dog was pivotal to the foundation of agricultural Australia and the wool and cattle industries – it’s hard to imagine that we’d have built our country on the sheep’s back without the dog. He brings the latest research on the first dog’s arrival – the dingo, an Asian dog – which only happened between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago – at least 55,000 years after the arrival of the aboriginal people. The first dogs brought into the infant colony at Sydney Cove played a vital role in guarding stores, crops and domestic livestock. And they were invaluable when hunting kangaroos, a valuable food source. In the starving colony of the first few years this may have tipped the balance between survival and extinction for the First Fleet settlers. Thank you dogs! Note: the kangaroo dog – a cross between Scottish deerhounds (stamina) and smooth coated greyhounds (speed) – worked in pairs to bring down kangaroos. They soon found as much favour with aboriginal people as with the white settlers. He tells the stories of the heelers and the kelpies, how the breeds came about and of their feats as cattle and sheep dogs. You’ll learn about extraordinary police dogs, but also about the little home-grown terriers that protected the homestead and the garden. Best of all, Guy Hull writes like a thriller writer. If you love dogs and history, then you’ll love every of the 368 pages in this riveting book.
The much anticipated collaboration between former President Bill Clinton and popular crime writer James Patterson. A fast-paced thriller set over the course of three days: the President of the United States has gone missing: attempting to tackle a new security threat without his Secret Service backup. Facing political machinations, terrorist threats and a ruthless assassin, this is a fun easy read full of details only a former president could know.
This is the second volume in the Lore series; based on the popular American podcast about myths and folklore. While the first volume discussed monsters (such as the Jersey Devil and vampires) this sequel explores the human characters of folklore from witches, changelings, and paranormal murderers. Told in an accessible and entertaining way, this volume both explores a fascinating array of characters while investigating our cultural fascination with them.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a massive Stephen King fan. And as any Stephen King fan will tell you, his later works sometimes lack a little of the magic he had in his earlier years. The Outsider, however, ranks up there with some of his best. The premise is a fantastic hook - a young boy has been murdered, and all the eyewitness accounts, forensic evidence, DNA, everything point conclusively to one man - baseball coach Terry Maitland. Maitland, however, has an ironclad alibi - he was in a completely different city, with eyewitnesses, on video, and couldn't possibly have done it. And he seems bewildered by the accusation. King follows through on that killer premise and delivers a gripping and terrifying supernatural crime thriller - perfect as a reminder for both long-lost King fans and as a gateway drug for brand new ones.
Beginning with a lovely story of how his engineer father piqued his interest in precision engineering, Simon Winchester takes us through the history of a discipline whose effects are felt worldwide. From the steam age to the space age, precision engineering has played a crucial role in our history. My favourite chapters are the ones contrasting Henry Ford and Henry Royce, and the making of the Model T Ford and the Rolls-Royce; the drama of QF32 in 2010 when an engine exploded mid-air; and his visit to the Seiko factory in Japan. Winchester has the gift of taking a subject that many might consider dry at best and creating a narrative that is both interesting and entertaining.
UWA Research, The City of Perth Library, and Boffins Books are proud to present an in conversation event with Germaine Greer. On Rape is an original and powerful essay from this great feminist of our era, renowned for her courageous, independent and provocative writing.
Deep in rural England lies the town of Rotherweird and the valley surrounding it. Elizabethan in appearance and indeed origin, Rotherweird has some unusual laws and customs. Essentially independent from the rest of the country, its citizens are strictly forbidden to study their own history. When four strangers arrive in town and start digging around in the past, the peril faced by The Lost Acre, a secret world connected to Rotherweird by two portals, is revealed. A race ensues between good and evil forces to unlock the many mysteries of The Lost Acre and its role in Rotherweird's origins.
In 1945 Britain was the world's leading designer and builder of aircraft. The world’s first jet airliner, the Comet; the delta-winged Vulcan bomber; the Hawker Hunter fighter jet – these were just a few of the exemplary aircraft produced in post-war Britain. Within a couple of decades, the designers, the pilots and the legendary companies they worked for were gone. This is their story, beautifully told, capturing a season of glory, exquisite aircraft, and lots of derring-do.
Any Aussie kid who missed out on Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the legendary gumnut babies, really missed out. Their creator, May Gibbs, grew up in Perth, and went on to study art in London before returning to Australia to become a successful commercial illustrator. Her legendary drawings are loved by almost all of us. This is a wonderful biography of May Gibbs, fully illustrated with beautiful reproductions of her work.
I’ve had a copy of this since it first came out, and I love it. Bathers Pavilion is in Sydney’s Balmoral Beach, and something of an institution. Serge is French Canadian, and is a champion of local, seasonal ingredients. Accordingly, the book is arranged by season, which is a great way to browse for a recipe that suits the time of year. The recipes are adventurous and range from pretty easy to fairly sophisticated. For winter, how does Stuffed chicken breast with spinach, feta and chorizo sound? You could follow it with his Tangelo pudding for a warm, wintery citrus dessert.
When Rotherweird’s astronomer, Bolitho, dies he leaves detailed instructions for his funeral that seem to warn of a danger to the town. Town Herald Marmion Finch goes missing and the cleaning of a portrait reveals what appears to be a coded message. Fearing a return of Rotherweird’s dark past in the form of Geryon Wynter and his acolytes, those that care mount an effort to defend the town. The problem is, they don’t really know the nature of the danger they face and must solve a series of devilishly difficult puzzles, many of which are red herrings, before the winter solstice - which also happens to be Election Day in Rotherweird.
Late in the Middle Ages an English noblewoman, Mathilda Fitzjohn, commissions a book of hours to be created for her family. She particularly requests the master illuminator John Dancaster of London to illustrate the book, a job he accepts with alacrity for times are tough and it is a great honor. Mathilda however is unaware of the secrets hidden in the illuminator’s workshop, secrets John’s wife Gemma knows could bring about their ruin.
Now this book is perfect for the armchair foodie. It’s all about time in cooking and beverage making, and the chapters are Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months and Years. How about that? So when we think of seconds, caramel comes to mind, or blanching; for minutes we might think of perfectly cooked eggs or correctly brewed tea; for hours think bread making; for days it’s pickling and fermenting; and so on right through to the years it takes to make great parmesan cheese, or whisky, or balsamic vinegar. This is a truly delightful book, a romp through the history of food and the traditional ways of making and preparing it. And it’s just the book to help build a winter appetite.
If you’re not a carnivore, or if you like to eat vegetarian some of the time, then this book is perfect for winter. It’s full of delicious vegetarian recipes, from soups to main courses and desserts, that you can make in the slow cooker – and have ready for when you get home from work.
Some years ago Lou and I were taken, by his publishers, to Stephane Reynaud’s wonderful restaurant in Paris. However it was during a public transport strike, so the city was gridlocked, and we arrived an hour and a half late. That’s one kind of slow food. Because of the strike, Stephane had closed the restaurant to the public, and we (some Australian and Canadian booksellers, and the French and English publishers) were entertained in grand style. The food was to die for, and the wine, and the digestifs at the end of the meal (some of them very old and made by his family). He’s a big, warm, generous bear of a man and he gave us all a great evening that I still remember. But the slow food we all love is, I think, best in winter. Stephane’s latest book is full of simple, hearty, and delicious one-pot dishes. They’re all fairly easy to prepare, even if some of them do need to simmer slowly for a good time. I think that either his lamb shanks with white beans, or is beef cheeks with shiraz, might be on the table at our housein the near future.
This is such a well put together book, great to read and full of practical advice. Two thirds of the book is literally a travel guide to indigenous Australia, with a chapter for each state and territory as well as the Torres Strait Islands. Festivals, art, dance, sport, camping, walking, guided tours are just some of the topics covered, with a plethora of contact information provided. I particularly enjoyed the first third of the book - some 70 pages or so - which gives an introduction to indigenous culture. From pre-history to language, clan groups to art, land rights and white settlement, this is a clear, readable and informative overview, full of pictures and illustrations, that would be of interest to anyone.
It was a plan to end the Second World War by capturing the bridges leading to the lower Rhine and beyond. But it ended quickly, in disaster, especially for the Dutch civilians who risked everything to help and suffered cruel reprisals from the Germans through to the end of the war. When I was younger I was close to a Dutchman who lived as a teenager in Arnhem at the time of the battle. He told of the initial excitement and hope when the parachuters arrived, followed by near starvation until liberation in May 1945. So it was wonderful to read this book about a subject that I’d heard so much about. And Beevor is in his usual good form, using many new sources, with a gripping history that reveals that the plan imposed by Field Marshal Montgomery and General “Boy” Browning was doomed from the start. He views Montgomery as an egotistical, insufferable bore, and lays the principal blame for the disaster on him. Cornelius Ryan wrote a superb history – A Bridge Too Far (also made into a movie in 1977), and Rick Atkinson has also written well on Arnhem. Unlike them Beevor writes from a military background and his analysis of the disaster is forensic. This will appeal to his many fans.
This novel caught my attention because of the story behind it. The author, Heinrich Gerlach, served as a junior officer in the German Army at Stalingrad and was captured by the Russians at the surrender in February 1943 and held in a POW camp in Russia. While there, he wrote this novel. On release in 1950, the Soviets confiscated his novel. He returned to Germany, wrote it again from memory, and it was published in 1957. In 2012 a researcher came across the manuscript in the Russian State Military Archive and the original version was published in German, and now in an English translation. I couldn’t resist reading and it and I’m very glad that I did – it really exceeded my expectations. It starts in November 1942 with the commencement of the Russian encirclement of the German Army, and takes us on a journey through the campaign, and the reduction of the 300,000 German force to 91,000 at the time of their surrender in February 1943. The best thing about this novel is that it tells the story from the point of view of the ordinary soldier, and gives a convincing sense of how different people react to war. It’s terrible of course, but it’s a gripping story, masterfully written, that is a sort of testament to the men who were in a sense just pawns of the regime they were forced to serve.
In this fabulous new book from the author of The English Patient a young man, Nathaniel Williams, tries to piece together the puzzle of his childhood. In particular he remembers the year after the war when his parents left he and his sister in the care of a friend. The children were told it was their father’s work that necessitated the absence, but they later discovered differently. In his twenties Nathaniel works for British Intelligence and uses the time to investigate what his mother, in particular, got up to during and after the war.
Boffins favourite Carlo Rovelli explores the mystery of time, what it is and what it isn’t, and how our understanding of it changes.
An absorbing look at an oft-maligned creature, the jellyfish, from cutting edge science and robots to the implications for the world at large.
One of the smartest books on home organisation I have ever seen! Learn how to make the most of your space, celebrate household basics, save on impulse buys and rid your house of plastics.
This stunning hardcover from Phaidon examines the Greek Myths within the history of art. Classical pieces are juxtaposed with contemporary works which expose the lasting power of these mythical tales.
A novel about the real life secret affair between the First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt and celebrated journalist Lorena Hickock. Told from Lorena’s point-of-view, the book tells of the illicit decades-long affair between the two women, as well as exploring her unique position within the White House, to see all the secret machinations of government. The book also flashes back to Hickok’s dirt-poor upbringing, providing a stark contrast to the power and glamour of Washington. A fascinating novel that shines light on a little known true story.
The Perfect Mother is a debut novel from non-fiction author Aimee Molloy, and it comes with a lot of hype attached, as it’s already being turned into a movie by Sony, starring Scandal’s Kerry Washington. The story taps into every new parent’s worst fear – Winnie has left her six-week-old baby with a babysitter for the first time ever, only for the baby to have been kidnapped from a crib. What follows is a set of intense investigations by the police, by Winnie herself and by a story-hungry media. The book has drawn apt comparisons to Liane Moriarty, but Molloy is willing to go much darker than Moriarty ever does, and to get there much more quickly.
A young university student wakes one morning covered in blood and discovers a body downstairs in his apartment. Yu-jin has little memory of the previous night’s events, but can not believe he could have committed a murder so sets about investigating what happened. Over the following 48 hours as he cleans up the apartment and is visited by his brother, aunt and the police, Yu-jin begins to piece together a puzzle that in fact goes back more than a decade, to a family holiday when two other deaths occurred.
The story of Wallis Simpson and Edward Windsor has been told many times, but this new biography by Andrew Morton shows a new side to it. Morton argues that the fairy-tale romance was a sham; that Wallis wasn’t in love with Edward and that she offered to marry another man just days before her wedding to the ex-King. It’s a fresh and fascinating portrait of the Duchess of Windsor, of the men she truly loved, the men who broke her heart, and the hearts she broke in turn.
The people at publisher Phaidon have done it again: another of their superb books on national cuisines, this time that of Cuba. The seductive flavours and colours of Caribbean food are reflected in this book, which will make it possible for you (or someone else) to bring them to your table. This is a superbly illustrated and comprehensive record of Cuban cuisine – which is a delicious melting pot of indigenous Cuban, Spanish, African, French and Chinese influences reflecting various waves of colonisation and immigration to the island. A great gift for any foodie.
Boffins Books, State Buildings and writingWA welcomes Australian historical fiction author, Natasha Lester for a Literary Afternoon Tea.
Twins Aneeka and Parvaiz have been mostly raised by their sister Isma, who put her own life on hold when their mother died. When they finish school Isma resumes her studies and moves from London to the US to complete her PHD. As his twin also begins a new life at University, Parvaiz flounders, feeling he is being left behind by both his siblings. His loneliness and vulnerability are spotted by Farooq, who befriends the young man and slowly but surely converts him to the jihadist cause. The resulting tragedy, in fact a modern retelling of the Greek play Antigone, pits State, family, faith and the individual against each other in a chillingly timely tale.
This is a beautiful exploration of both the manuscripts themselves and the people who made, owned, and loved them.
Two bugs are walking along one day, enjoying the last few days of summer when they happen upon an ENORMOUS peach. When a gnarly grasshopper tells them they can’t eat it as it’s the last peach of the summer, they debate amongst themselves all the pros & cons – it could be rotten inside, it could be the loveliest ever and no other will ever be the same, they might have to share! They even write a beautiful poem. The line-by-line dialogue text makes this an excellent read aloud for adults and kids alike and the quirky back and forth gives it a subtle humour that is guaranteed to get giggles from any reader. Perfect for ages 3-6, the mixed media illustrations are colourful and have simple collage techniques.
This is such a high quality illustrated hardback activity maze book. It's aimed at ages 8+ with sophisticated mazes to discover famous landmarks in 30 different cities around the world. · Full of information, this is perfect for something a little bit different to keep kids busy with both an educational and entertaining aspect.
Charles Frazier returns to the territory of the Civil War and its aftermath in this new novel based on the life of Varina Howell who, still a teenager, married Jefferson Davis, a man more than twice her age who eventually became President of The Confederacy. Over the course of six Sundays in 1906 an elderly Varina tells her story to James Blake, the now middle-aged man who was once her adopted son until they were separated after the war. After the fall of the Confederacy Varina and her children flee Richmond and head south, hoping to reach Florida and from there Cuba. There are bounties on their heads and Varina and her family will pay a high price for being on the losing side of history.
A wonderful addition to a collection of non-fiction animal stories for kids. Carmichael's Journey follows the travels of a young Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, a species exclusive to Western Australia that is highly endangered due to land clearing affecting their nesting grounds. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, the author has a creative way of developing awareness in young readers to the importance of conservation and understanding our planet and how every little thing can be affected. I recommend this to schools and libraries too because using its simple story telling technique is an easy way to inform kids and a great resource for eco projects and discussion.
Fleur McHarg is one of the most in-demand florists and floral arrangers for Australia's great and good. You could say that flowers have been an obsession since she was young – as a nineteen year old she was arrested for stealing magnolias from Como House in Melbourne, in fact a whole magnolia branch! Fleur’s distinctive arrangements are built on her great instinct for colour, and her belief that every flower has it’s own personality. In her book she shows you how to create breathtaking displays, looking at 30 of her favourite flowers, showing you what works and what doesn’t. Lauren, who looks after our craft and design books, thinks this is the best flower arranging book we’ve seen for several years.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart was an emotional journey. I cried my eyes out at some parts and I highly recommend you get this book if you want a gutsy, honest story, rich in Australian depth and tradition. Following Alice's life over twenty odd years was such a rollercoaster of emotions and the storytelling was so fulfilling I was devastated that it ended. I'm sort of glad it did though because it really made me feel that Alice needed to be on her own to really live inside her world and I have come away from this book with my own perspectives changed, learning from her experiences.
Alice Hart is a lonely girl. Living with her emotionally fragile mother and abusive father, her best friend is her dog and her hope, the packages of library books her father begrudgingly supplies her.
When Alice's parents die in a fire, she is sent to live with her estranged grandmother on their flower farm and slowly learns to live again and the history of her family through the language of wildflowers.
Anna Quindlen has written a dark social satire set within New York City, seen through the eyes of restless mother Nora. Nora’s life seems safe and stable, until her husband is involved in an incident with a handyman fighting over a parking space – an incident that turns violent. The reaction to the incident divides the neighbourhood, and Nora’s marriage, exposing issues of race, class, privilege, and parking, all with an underlying comic bite. It’s basically Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap meets that one episode of Seinfeld.
Lisa Genova, best know for Still Alice, tells the story of Richard, a concert pianist who develops ALS (also known as motor neurone disease) causing him to lose the ability to play, and Karina, his ex-wife who has now become his carer. This unique situation causes them to re-evaluate their past and their feelings for each other. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult or JoJo Moyes – but with an extra edge of authenticity from Genova’s real-life background as a neuroscientist.
Sarah Pinborough’s previous book, Behind Her Eyes, was an absolute smash-hit thriller with an infamously surprising twist ending. Cross Her Heart is an equally twisty psychological thriller told from three points-of-view: single mother Lisa, best friend Marilyn, and hormonal teenager Ava. Each of them is hiding dark secrets, and over the course of the book, all three lives unravel.
Nicola Moriarty (sister of Liane Moriarty) has written an acerbic suburban satire about motherhood. The plot revolves around two main characters: Poppy, who creates a Facebook group, with her best friend, in order to vent about obnoxious and condescending mothers they know; and Frankie, a harried working mother who’s sick of being judged by mothers without jobs, or co-workers without children. These women eventually clash when the digital opinions turn into real-world actions.
Ten year old Cub, with her twin Wally, older brother Cassie and mum and dad, lives on a lonely property in rural Australia, overlooking another with a yellow house. Nearby is an abandoned knackery. Grandfather Les had lived in the house until he died twelve years ago, and his legacy hangs over the family. Through the eyes of Cub, we learn the true story of Les and we see the effects of his actions on Cub’s immediate family. A beautifully written story that unfolds with perfect timing, and reveals the crippling effects of Les’s terrible crime on his progeny.
Personal and collective responsibility for crimes of the past are the subject of Philip Kerr’s latest Bernie Gunther thriller. Working as in insurance claims adjuster, Bernie is sent to Athens to investigate a claim and soon becomes involved in the hunt for a murderer he suspects is actually a war criminal responsible for the deaths of countless Greek Jews. In 1957 Germany is already showing signs of the economic powerhouse it will become, but not everyone has moved on from the atrocities of the past. As a German who knows all about guilt and compromise, Bernie is well placed to dig out the different motives behind all the players’ actions.
Boffins Books is proud to be the official bookseller for an evening of insightful conversation with award winning journalist Peter Greste.
Bernadette Schwerdt has written on this subject before, and her new book is a guide for anyone who wants to start an online business or build on an existing one. She looks at strategy first – you need a viable idea if you’re going to be a successful online entrepreneur. Then she covers all the technical stuff you need to know. And finally she looks at the marketing – how to get found, how to get traffic, and how to get sales.
The internet has morphed from a tool providing efficiencies and opportunities for consumers and business to a force that is profoundly reshaping our societies and our world – not all in our best interests. Andrew Keen looks at how societies tamed the excesses of the Industrial Revolution, which, like its digital counterpart, demolished long-standing models of living, ruined harmonious environments and altered the business world beyond recognition. He looks across the globe at how different countries are responding to the changes wrought by the internet in the areas of regulation, innovation, social responsibility, consumer choice and education. He shows us what we need to do – as individuals and as a society - to try to preserve human values in the digital world and to make the future something to look forward to.
This wonderful little book by the authors of the best-selling “The Decision Book” distils 44 of the most important communication theories into bite sized, digestible chunks of information that help us communicate better – at work and at home. You’ll get the low down on the best way of running meetings, of negotiating, of engaging in small talk, of questioning - even of lying!. Do you know that white lies benefit the person lied to; grey lies benefit both the liar and the person lied to; black lies benefit only the liar: and that red lies benefit no-one? But more seriously, this is an immensely useful book to dip into. You can easily find a section that relates to a current challenge or problem, and implement their advice in your day-to-day behaviour.
A young woman begins an affair with a much older famous American author. An Iraqi-American man is detained at Heathrow airport en route to the middle-east. What connects these stories is a matter of identity and creativity a la Alice Through the Looking Glass. This is a clever, sharp debut, given an extra element of intrigue by the author’s own history of a relationship, in her early twenties, with the American author Phillip Roth.
Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, was a retelling of The Iliad. In this new book she takes a sliver of The Odyssey and reimagines it from the point of view of Circe, the witch-goddess. In this version, the somewhat neglected daughter of a god is banished for eternity to the island of Aiaia, and there she slowly begins to develop her talent for witchcraft, putting it to good use when visitors arrive and threaten her. One of those visitors is Odysseus, on his way back to Ithaca.
One Way follows the story of Frank Kittridge, a convicted man who’s been sent to Mars, along with seven other prisoners, to build the first permanent base on Mars. Unfortunately, once he gets there, a series of “accidents” lead Frank to suspect that one of the prisoners is murdering the rest. Frank is then forced to look for the perpetrator and survive the planet – a tough goal when all your suspects are murderers and the planet itself is exceptionally hostile. One Way is an ingenious mix between Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Andy Weir’s The Martian, and just a splash of Lee Child action. It’s a fantastic premise well-executed and an easy choice for any adventurous sci-fi fans.
Daudet does an admirable job of articulating the intrinsically inarticulate sensation of chronic pain. Despite the dark nature of the subject – Daudet’s notes are filled with a stoic good-humour that belied his fatal condition.
We all learned about John Macarthur and the foundation of the Australian merino wool industry at school. But we don’t know so much about Elizabeth, his wife after whom their first farm at Parramatta was named – Elizabeth Farm. This book fills the gap, and gives Elizabeth back her place. After all, during his many absences from the colony of New South Wales, she ran their farms and their affairs and ensured their prosperity. This countrywoman from Devon was built of steel, but with a heart. The account of her journey to NSW in the second fleet, when she gave birth to her second child in the Southern Ocean in a storm (and the daughter only survived for an hour) is fascinating. Her life in early Sydney and Parramatta tells us so much about early Australia and the conditions in which even the better off lived in the fledgling colony. The machinations between the military and the various governors are told from an interesting viewpoint – Elizabeth often managed to retain friendships with the wives of John’s adversaries. And at the edge of it all we see the convicts and the free settlers from in interesting vantage point. The development of the wool industry and the colonial economy is also central, and it’s fascinating to see the transition from penal colony to self-sustaining society. An easy read, great history but a window into the personal lives of many of the early settlers of Australia.
Boffins Books, The City of Perth Library, the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and Research at UWA are proud to welcome Michael Mosely back to Perth for a presentation around The Clever Guts Diet. The Clever Guts Diet is a book that celebrates this hugely underrated organ and shows you what you need to do to keep it in prime condition.
The fascinating story of Edith Coleman; the first women to be awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion in 1949 for her seminal work on orchids. Part natural history, biography, and cultural history – there’s something for everyone in this well-written and researched story.
An anthology of brief interviews with an eclectic variety of Indigenous Australians. Notable contributors include Adam Goodes, Tony Birch, and many more. An enlightening and well-composed collection
A seminal historiographical work which masterfully unpacks why history – especially well-written history – is more important than ever. A fantastic introduction for both students and general enthusiasts alike.
I loved this book so much. I have to tell you how utterly sinister and creepy it is! . . Horror doesn't scare me. I know it's not real and I know it can't get me but this book hit me full on. . . It's anxiety meets Freddy Krueger. Scream with the sound turned off. It's super scary and I loved every minute of it. . . Tash witnessed a kidnapping years ago. Her imaginary friend Sparrow took Mallory away from the carnival. Wrenched the balloons right off her wrist. Lured her into the darkness and spat her out, 7 days later, mute and afraid. Nobody believed her then, so why would they believe her now when the dark hooded figure appears again, she thinks...but is it her imagination playing tricks, or has something terrible happened that she must find and destroy to give her peace? . . If you want a good psychological thriller, pick up Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Shake it before you read it...just to get the bad juju out but it's still going to stare at you in the shadows, knock on your door at 3am and keep you tossing and turning because you're too afraid to go get that glass of water you'll be craving all night. . . Is it just an 8 year olds imaginary friend?..or something a lot more intense? . . Well played Sarah Epstein. Well played.
This book has me reeling. I have so much to say about it but here is a short review. . . I Stop Somewhere is about all girls. It's about what makes us. Sugar and spice...we are not a cookie recipe. It's for all of us who do not fit in, a question for those who did but didn't feel good about it and above all those who deserve justice for things that were out of their control. It's about RAPE. And murder of a lonely girl. I was angry reading this book. Responsive to the spot on emotions of fear, the influences, the concessions. I identified with Ellie so incredibly that I actually paused to think in depth about my own experiences and appreciate that my life is not like hers. It's a hard subject but I think T.E Carter has an absolute grasp on teens, realities on issues that need so much more discussion and I see this book blooming for school study and more. "This isn't a story of great romance or of true love. It's simply a story of being lonely and how comforting it is to be called beautiful." PG 55. I have highlighted so many quotes from this book that stick with me and I guarantee you will too.
Boffins Books are delighted to be the official bookseller at Business Chick's event, An Evening With Bec Judd.
Boffins Books are delighted to be the official bookseller at the first Adventure Travel Film Festival.
The most recent in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, which sees bestselling novelists retelling the Bard’s plays, Macbeth is set in modern day Inverness, a city rife with drugs and corruption. Detective Macbeth receives a promotion and a prophesy of future success, both of which go to his head. Together with his wife, Lady, he plots the downfall of Chief Commissioner Duncan, beginning a cycle of violence and destruction.
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that combines fact with fiction, aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Lots of kids I’ve talked to in the shop recently love bugs! This one fits the bill perfectly with lift the flap facts and silly jokes to get them learning with fun. It tells the reader a story about one day when all the bees disappeared and it puts the minibeasts into a spin as they try to work out what’s happened. Not only do we read about why bees are important to our natural world, but also what goes on beneath the leaves and rocks, the veggie garden and ponds with a whole host of colourful bugs to learn about! It makes learning fun and there are a lot of little dialogues on every page to pour over. Perfect for the school holidays and getting out in the garden as it starts cooling down.
A fantastic new book that combines fact with fiction in a time travelling adventure. Mary meets 12 amazing Nobel Prize winners as she travels back in time with Dr Barry Marshall to find out what they did to make them so special and the secrets behind their research and scientific discoveries. I love that this book tells a story that engages readers but also includes fun bites of information plus experiments to perform at home. Something a bit different for our young Boffins.
This is the manga adaptation of the cult hit short film, and is a classic science-fiction exploration of time, relativity and teenage romance.
Compelling, addictive writing that will truly make you question how much control we have over our own fate – and how much we accept what we are told.
Normality is something we all struggle with – Meg Jay interviews 16 people who have undergone traumatic events in their childhood and developed skills to continue with their lives.
True crime meets environmentalism in this investigative book about the hunt to catch illegal fishing vessel Thunder. Not just a record of the 110 days spent at sea, but the legal battles afterwards to have the crew prosecuted and their employer named.
This graphic novel adaptation of the YA novel Speak has all the humour, sadness and tension of the original, with incredible artwork from Emily Carroll.
A dark, dreamlike novel about the ways in which we ‘other’ people, and ways we watch people – and the impact that has on us.
Pirate Blunderbeard is being warned that if he doesn't get 100p in his bank before the end of the year, he'll have to stop being a pirate, but in the end he stays a pirate. I liked it when Blunderbeard got revenge his enemy, Blackbeard because it was funny. It has a few tricky words in at the start but lots of cool pictures inside. Five stars.
To celebrate the release of Dianne Wolfer's third book in the Light series, Boffins Books is hosting an interactive history of World War I with a focus on the brave medical staff that helped save lives.
Boffins Books together with State Buildings and writingWA welcomes Dervla McTiernan for a Literary Afternoon Tea as she celebrates the launch of her new book The Ruin.
For ten years a man calling himself Will Power lived in near-total isolation in northern New South Wales. Some people thought he might be Jesus. Others feared he was a more sinister figure.
This is a beautiful hardcover book, superbly illustrated, that looks at some of the most famous books ever written. Whether it’s the Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, or even Lady Chatterley’s Lover – you’ll find them all here. Scriptures that founded religions, scientific treatises that challenged beliefs, novels that kick-started literary movements – they’re all represented and provide a wonderful demonstration of how the written word has shaped and changed the world.
Grantlee Kieza’s biography of Ellen Kelly, Ned’s mum, is a big (600 pages), fascinating story of a remarkable woman who survived great hardships in her life. It’s a book that doesn’t flag. Mrs Kelly came to Melbourne on a sailing ship as a 9 year old in 1841 and lived to the ripe old ageof 91 – at her death in 1923 motor cars plied the highway near her home north of Melbourne. There’s even a picture of her at the wheel of one in 1923. She was the matriarch of a wild family; of her twelve children from two husbands we all know of Ned, hung at the Melbourne Gaol, and Dan, who died in the shootout at Glenrowan. But do you know about younger son Jack, who was an instructor in horsemanship for the West Australian Police, and went on with wife Violet to become a world famous circus and rodeo act known as “Kelly and Kelly”. This superb biography of the indefatigable Ellen Kelly encompasses a long period of great social change in Australia. It’s incredibly well researched, it’s a great narrative, and it is beautifully nuanced to give us a panoramic view of the Australia of the time through the goings-on of one very large family. A very rewarding reading experience.
Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister, was a brilliant orator and intellectual, a leading federalist and nation builder, and the orchestrator of much public policy that endured for over three quarters of a century. He also had a fascinating private life. Judith Brett has rounded out the man in this fascinating biography that is a delight to read.
Does emotional upheaval affect the heart? Can love, or chocolate, really heal our heart problems? And why do we know so much about heart attacks in men, when they are more fatal in women?
This is one of the most intriguing psychological thrillers to come out this year. The Perfect Girlfriend is actually about an ex-girlfriend, Juliette Price. She was dumped by Nate Goldsmith six months ago and is determined to win him back and prove herself to be the perfect girlfriend. It sounds like it could be the set-up to a romantic comedy, but Juliette is psychotic and determined to get her man at any cost – including breaking into his apartment when he isn’t there, installing spyware on his computer, and rearranging her entire life so that she can become a flight attendant for the same company that Nate is a pilot for. An absolutely engaging and terrifying thriller, in the vein of Fatal Attraction or Single White Female. Plus there’s the added bonus of Karen Hamilton being a real-life former flight attendant, bringing a great deal of authenticity to the setting (I’m assuming she’s not a former real-life stalker as well).
Mrs. is a dark and cynical social satire set in New York’s Upper East Side, featuring a cast of extremely privileged and deeply insecure characters, and a plot involving federal prosecutors, social events and high finance. The story follows Philippa Lye, the uncompromising wife of a hedge fund manager. Unfortunately, her shady past comes to the attention of the US Attorney’s Office, putting her entire lifestyle into jeopardy. The novel is a peculiar mix of literary ambitions and gossipy subject matter, resulting in a very distinctive tone. It’s probably best described as being somewhere between a modern-day Edith Wharton novel and a much wealthier Big Little Lies.
This is a delightful children’s picture book set in France at the end of World War 1. It’s based on a true story. It’s the story of Honore, a French orphan boy who, cold and hungry and lost, stumbled on the Australian Flying Corps base and met Tim Tovell, who took him into his care. Eventually, unable to trace Honore’s family, Tim adopts him and takes him home to Australia. It’s beautifully illustrated by Tull Suwannakit, and it also includes actual photographs of Honore and Tim – including one of Honore being squeezed into an old oat bag to be smuggled across the English channel. With Anzac Day coming up, this is a perfect gift for a young child, a warm story set in dark times, a story of kindness and hope.
For anyone interested in musical theatre, this book is a must-read. Andrew Lloyd Weber has been churning out amazing musicals for 5 decades now and is surely the king of musical theatre. He started writing musicals as a schoolboy – “tons of dreadful ones” he says. He describes one in particular, called “Westonia”, as “one of the worst ideas ever conceived for the stage, short of a musical about the humanitarian work of Genghis Khan”. But we know him for the great ones – Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Phantom of the Opera to name a few. It’s the first volume – it ends with the launch of Phantom – so let’s hope he delivers volume two further down the track. But for now, he’s treated us to 500 odd pages of asides, gossip, music and theatrical detail will leave you enthralled by this book.
March 1918, the final year of World War 1, saw a major German offensive in France. It commenced on 21 March, a 100 years ago. If successful, it would have changed the outcome of the war. The Germans did make significant advances through British lines (with feints against French lines that dissuaded the French from moving forces away to support the British). The Australian Army Corps played a pivotal role in pushing back the German advance – their “shock troops” providing critical support for the British. David Cameron has written a riveting account of the Australian involvement in this campaign, using diaries and letters from the soldiers involved to give a feel for what it was like on the ground. It is the first of two volumes that deal with Australia’s role on the Western Front in World War 1.
Eileen Ormsby wrote “Silk Road” which was the world’s first exposé of the black markets that operate on the dark web. In this new book, she exposes the “dark web” – news and forums dedicated to topics of true crime, but with inside information and gruesome detail rarely found on the clear web. This hidden web is a way of creating a meeting place where the visitor can’t discover where the host is and the host can’t discover where the visitor is coming from. Nobody — including the organisations that provide access to the sites — can determine who runs them or where they are located. Drugs, weapons, poisons, identities and bank accounts for sale; murder-for-hire; and much more are all under the spotlight in this book. Over the last five years Ormsby has explored every corner of the dark web, talked to the criminals created by it and to those who labour to bring them to justice. In this book she takes you down to it’s murkiest depths.
We’re all fascinated by the descent into identity politics in western democracies – where we seek to identify ourselves by our differences to each other. It’s like a version of the religious, sectarian, ethnic or clan-based tribalism that we’ve tended to think of as the problems of other parts of the world. Amy Chua takes us on a fascinating journey through the differences that are splitting western societies. Her book is a wake up call and she offers a cure for our political ills. Not surprisingly, it asks us to cross the chasm between groups, and to celebrate differences rather than denying them. Easier said than done.
Boffins Books are proud to be the offical bookseller at the book launch for Susan Midalia's The Art of Persuasion.
This has definitely been one of my favourite reads this year. There’s something about Canadian writers. Their work often resonates so strongly, and they are such good storytellers. Like us, they exist in a vast country, sparsely populated and extreme in climate. Their history, particularly when it comes to the indigenous people, their treatment, survival and current issues, has strong parallels with Australia. Katherena Vermette is a Métis (mixed heritage) woman, and her beautiful, if confronting, first novel is populated by the Anishinaabe, white and Métis people of Winnipeg. A young Métis mother, Stella, witnesses a violent crime and calls the police. The novel tells the story of the effect of that crime. It is extremely confronting, but at the same time, The Break is also a story of strength, resilience and survival. What I like most about it is its depth, breadth and balance. All the characters, no matter how small a part they have to play, are brought to life with a fine and nuanced detail. It is not simply a story of male perpetrators and female victims, and is particularly strong on the legacy, good and bad, passed down the generations.